Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This is not a yarn diet, but....

I have been thinking an awful lot about my stash since Ravelry
  • Forced me/gave me a place to organize and catalog what I have.
  • Enabled me to buy more by showing me new yarns, new projects, and lovely links and discounts to new retailers.
  • Hosted discussions about materialism and stash, stash-busting, and yarn diets.

If you’ve read any knit blogs at all, I’m sure you’ve seen this by now: The World’s Biggest Stash. When the pictures were posted on Ravelry, I thought a person could write a sociological study on the reactions knitters had to it. Some thought it was the greatest thing ever and wished she could aspire to such a stash. Some thought the Stash Owner was a mentally ill hoarder on the level of that poor woman on Oprah who hoarded 10,000 square feet of stuff into a 3000 square foot house. And some used the picture to spin off threads about how “excessive” stash was yet another product of the materialism that runs rampant in this country. All very interesting stuff that made me examine how I felt about my own stash.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the very idea that someone else gets to pronounce judgment on how much yarn someone has is disconcerting. If I feel comfortable with my stash, it’s no one else’s business but mine and the person I share my home and my finances with. I actually think that woman's stash is awesome, a true artist's studio. And yet as we get to the time of year where we make all kinds of good-intentioned resolutions, I am going to closely examine my stash and where my yarn money goes. I don’t feel comfortable with how many posts in this blog have received the label of “yarn shopping” this year. This is not a diet. This is not exactly a year of stash-busting either. But for now, here are the rules.

I may purchase yarn if

  • I have a gift card (which I do, both for Natural Stitches and Jimmy Beans Wool, go me).
  • It is needed for a gift and I have looked in my stash first.
  • It is something I am totally and completely sure I will not be able to get at a later date and I absolutely love it (keeping in mind that I am a member of the 2008 Rockin Sock Club and the Chewy Spaghetti Blue Plate Special and if that doesn’t satisfy my jonesing for “new and exclusive” I don’t know what will).
  • It is a special occasion, like the Pittsburgh Knitting Festival.
  • It is Malabrigo (sorry, I can’t stay away from this crack. I will try, though).

I will try to stash-bust in the following ways

  • I will haul out the stash and put it where I can see and access it, not stuffed in one cabinet, thus preventing me from throwing up my hands and saying “I have no suitable hat yarn” and running off to the store. I will also be honest about the projects I plan to complete and put all the yarn I have for them into my Ravelry stash.
  • I will knit from stash throughout the year, interspersing large projects with small, and putting projects away into a “Long Term Planning Box” ala The Yarn Harlot, thus preventing a yarn binge in October and November and subsequent frantic knitting for Christmas 2008 (because, dude, I still haven’t finished Christmas 2007).
  • I will embark on some charity knitting such as the Dulaan Project.

Okay, so I’m posting this on my blog to keep myself honest. Let’s see how long I can go.

PS: I want a new knitting bag, one that does not scream "Here is my cheap knitting bag from Joann's!" (okay, I actually like my cheap Joann's bag, but I want something I can use in all grownup, professional situations and still have some knitting on hand). Jordana Paige? Namaste? Everything is getting mixed reviews on Ravelry and I don't know what to do.


Sarah said...

I am approaching my stash in much the same way this year. It's not so much that I feel guilty for spending money or hoarding, but I think that as the stash grows bigger, there's a greater chance that I'll forget what's in it. There are so many yarns I have that I was so excited to get, but I put them away (because I was in the middle of something) and promptly forgot I had it. I have three or four sweaters' worth of yarn, so that should keep me plenty busy!

Amy said...

I think everything you've written makes a lot of sense. Personally, I'm not interested in making rules for myself because my life is already too full of things that I *have* to do...but I do want to be more thoughtful about using yarn I already have and thinking before buying. :-)